WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – As summer heats up, many of us are spending more time outside, but experts are reminding you to stay safe in the sun.
KWWL met with Kim Glasgow to get some tips on how to protect yourself and your family. She’s a licensed nurse practitioner at UnityPoint Urgent Care in Waterloo.
PROTECTING YOUR SKIN
- The sun’s rays are harmful even when it’s cloudy out. They’re most powerful from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
- Wear sunscreen. Glasgow recommends a broad-spectrum sunblock with at least SPF 30 or higher.
- Reapply your sunscreen every two hours. If you’re sweating or spending time in the water, you may need to reapply more often.
- Glasgow said don’t rely on the sunscreen in your foundation or make-up.
- Check the expiration date on your sunscreen and read the directions carefully.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your nose, neck, ears and feet.
- Protect your lips.
- Sunscreen sticks may work better on your face.
- Wondering how much sunscreen to use? For each application, Glasgow said adults should use a shot glass full of sunscreen all over their bodies.
- Watch out for reflective surfaces, such as pools or lakes. They may intensify the sun’s rays.
- If you’re burnt, you can use aloe vera, a cold compress or ibuprofen. Drink plenty of water.
- If you’re blistering, leave the blisters alone. Do not touch them, or you could scar.
- If you get a fever or the chills, you may be experiencing sun poisoning. See your doctor.
Our Storm Track 7 Team said heat and humidity can be a dangerous combination. Your body’s natural mechanism to cool off is sweating. When you sweat, air moves across your skin and causes your sweat to evaporate, essentially cooling you down. But when the air is heavy with humidity, evaporation isn’t possible. This can cause overheating, which can lead to heat exhaustion, or even worse, heat stroke.
PREVENTING HEAT EXHAUSTION
- Take plenty of breaks.
- Limit strenuous activity outdoors.
- Stay in the shade, if possible.
- Use a cold cloth to cool down.
- Drink water before you’re thirsty.
- Replace your electrolytes with sports drinks. Glasgow encourages you to check the nutrition labels. Dilute your sports drink with water or get a low-sugar version, if possible.
- Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks may make you more dehydrated. If you want to drink alcohol, drink water.
- People over the age of 65 are a greater risk of developing heat stroke.
- Check on your loved ones who live at home alone.
- Never leave a child or a dog in a hot car.